16th December 2014
I recently visited the Superfast Cornwall programme in Camborne, Cornwall to find out the fibre broadband rollout in Cornwall. At the heart of our discussion was progress that the project had made since its inception in 2010 and the economic benefit to Cornwall.
Superfast Cornwall is part of the £132 million initiative between the European Regional Development Fund, BT and Cornwall Council. The project is now approaching its target of 95% coverage and has had huge economic benefit to the region.
The installation of fibre broadband across Cornwall has had a very positive impact on the economy of Cornwall. With over 8,000 businesses now connected to fibre broadband, including an estimated 1,500 new start-ups, the investment in superfast broadband is clearly having a positive impact on the economy and helping to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that is key to future growth.
Even though the current project isn't quite finished I understand that plans are now being developed for a new potential project that will help the remaining 5% of Cornwall that are not in the current programme. This will increase the availability of faster broadband and provide a real boost for the rural economy.
Further Information: An independent evaluation report, produced in May 2014 by Serio, which was based on a survey of more than 220 Cornish businesses which have been using fibre broadband for 12 months or longer, estimates that 611 jobs have already been created and 807 safeguarded. The report showed that the project is on track to connect 10,000 businesses and create or protect over 5,300 jobs.
More than half of businesses surveyed (52 per cent) reported that fibre broadband had enabled them to grow, whilst 79 per cent indicated that fibre broadband had saved them time or money and 55 per cent said that the technology had allowed them to work in new and different ways. About half (49 per cent) indicated that it had allowed employees to work more efficiently from home or remotely.
Photo Caption: Pictured with members of the Superfast Cornwall team at their headquarters in the Pool Innovation Centre, Redruth. From left to right: Natalie Russel (Research & Evaluation Manager), Julian Cowens (Programme Manager), Ashley Fox MEP and David Callaghan (Project Officer)